Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't give up your day job - writing while working

Most writers, even the biggest big name bestsellers, wrote their earliest novels while holding down another fulltime job, grabbing time for their personal creativity in amongst the (at times gruelling) day-to-day requirements of whatever else they needed to do to earn money and/or raise a family. Many writers continue to work in other areas even after they're published (the life of a full-time author is a dream for most - something only a small percentage of writers, even amongst those who are published, achieve).

At the same time, many budding writers say they wish they could write their novel/play/screenplay/children's book - if only they could find the time, in amongst their busy, busy life. But those that have been successfully published have often had similarly busy, busy working lives. So how do they manage to juggle writing with other responsibilities? How do they manage to create when they have to snatch writing time here and there, before work, or when they're tired at the end of a demanding day?

An upcoming free public event in Auckland takes a look at this very issue, and seems well worth attending for published and budding writers alike, as well as interested readers.

Trading Places is a panel event to be chaired by Ian Wedde (New Zealand Poet Laureate 2011-2013, novelist and curator). Wedde is joined on the panel by high-profile New Zealanders:
  • Gareth Morgan, economist, investment manager, adventure traveller and published author;
  • Tessa Duder, children’s writer and literary ambassador;
  • Geoff Walker, publisher, editor and writer; and
  • Juliet Bergh, doctor, screen writer and director.
Wedde and the panellists will share their insights in to how they balance their working lives with writing, how they make time to write, nurturing their creativity and contributing to the creative economy, and avoiding procrastination.

Trading Places is a free public event, to be held at Auckland’s Central City Library, Level 2, 44-46 Lorne Street, on Tuesday 15 November. Crime Watch readers are invited to join Wedde and the panellists for a glass of wine from 7pm for a 7.30pm start; available on a first come/first served basis.

Trading Places is proudly sponsored by the New Zealand Book Council, Auckland City Libraries and the National Library, whose aim is to foster New Zealanders’ creativity.

Hat tip to Bookman Beattie for the heads-up about the event.


  1. I have never worked so hard in all my life. As much as I love writing it wears me down to work 18 hours a day with my day job. I keep telling myself it will all be worth it, but it still takes a level of determination to stick to a schedule.

  2. Here's a thought: the average Kiwi watches three hours and eight minutes of television every day. Cut that by a third, and you'd have a solid hour of writing time daily.